What’s Under Your Feet?

Mike had some down time here at the shop due to completely using up his computer so he took a minute out of his schedule to install some Seadek non-skid to a couple of boats. Seadek comes in sheets and custom CAD/CAM configurations to meet most of the inflatable floor types we use here at IBC.

Sure pretty colors and nice contours look sharp but what is Seadek really? The Seadek product is an EVA textured non-skid that holds up to bare feet and combat boots alike and offers easy cleaning and comfort. Positive traction when a boat is on plane and in heavy maneuvers means a lot to our professional users as well as our casual recreational users alike. If you’ve ever had to get on your knees on a waffle deck or hard non-skid in any sort of sea state you are aware how uncomfortable it can be doing simple tasks.

Enter Seadek to the rescue and suddenly you have a cushion beneath your body and the hard surfaces that not only looks great but actually serves a purpose. The large sheets can be measured and cut to fit just about any floorboard model and most RIBs and applies merely by peeling the backing sheet and sticking it down just like a sticker. The adhesive used in the Seadek product resists just about anything you’ll encounter in the marine environment making it a first choice for non-skid. Here at IBC we use Seadek on our aluminum floorboard Zodiac and Bombard models to enhance footing and overall looks.

On our deluxe RIBs such as this Avon Seasport 360 IBC designs foot well inserts the Seadek then manufactures in a teak look product that fits as well as it functions. No measuring simply peel and stick and you’re off the the yacht club in fine style and comfort.

Hopefully Mike will get his new computer fixed up and ready soon but in the mean time he’ll be installing Seadek non-skid on customer boats. To find out more about Seadek Non-Skid Products give Mike a call (503)235-2628 and be confident with what’s under your feet.

Inflatable Boat Capacity VS The Other Guys

Much has been touted about boat capacity in the world of tin and fiberglass boats, but how does it compare to an inflatable boat?

Tin Boat Capacity Plate

Inflatable Boat Capacity Plate

Upon comparison you see the tin boat is rated for up to a 60Hp outboard and up to seven people or 1325Lbs. total combined weight of cargo, people, and weight of the outboard, this must include fuel as well.

It must be noted the aluminum boat is 17 feet OAL and the inflatable boat is 15 feet 5 inches OAL.

The inflatable boat is rated for up to a 60Hp outboard and up to nine people or 2535 Lbs. total combined weight total.

This difference of two additional people and a surplus capacity of 1210 Lbs. in an inflatable boat that is almost two feet shorter starts to shed some light on the question of relative capacities in boat types. We selected the tin boat as a comparison here because in the Pacific NW we are tin boat centric, the same lack of capacity exists in fiberglass construction.

This added buoyancy in the inflatable boat means you can handle most things water wise,  and the likelihood of an inflatable boat coming to the rescue when your tin boat sinks is very high. The stability, capacity, and performance is of merit to the recreational customer as much as the professionals, and military users alike.

Seeing an inflatable boat tied to another boat or on deck gives people a look at the inflatable boat world but it’s a fleeting glance at best and an afterthought seconds later. What these mariners are saying with their inflatable boats is they are light, easy to store, carry a lot of goods and are safe where the other boats can’t be. Lest we forget they will go into mere inches of water fully laden.

What the rest of the world is missing is the inflatable boat as a primary platform has quite a lot of appeal in it. Cost of ownership and maintenance is within the average person’s grasp for a very high performing boat. Water sports become available without a second mortgage. Fishing even the most remote spots in a boat are now on the table. Moving cargo to remote locations means you can build that cabin you always wanted. Hunting spots where there are no people is easier and safer. You can roll up even a big inflatable boat and stick it in a closet if you want. The list goes on and on and on when you consider an inflatable boat and what it really means.

Some of the diehards in departments and agencies that are in districts that have water will still be drinking the jon boat kool aid until they ship water and have to get rescued themselves in, you guessed it, an inflatable boat.

Sadly these lessons have to be learned over and over again when there is a tragedy such as the Houston area flooding right now. The smarter choice, the one with the surplus capacity, means you have more options available as a boater than you thought.

Exercise your freedom get into the smarter boat that does more with less, spend less money and get more with an inflatable boat from The Inflatable Boat Center.

Oregon Sends 125th STS To Aid In Houston Relief

The images and video of the recent hurricane and it’s aftermath are heart wrenching to look at. Members of the U.S.  Air Force 125th STS (special tactics squadron) have been deployed to aid in humanitarian relief in the stricken region. Many of these Special Forces Warriors are our close personal friends here at IBC and we wish them the best of luck and send our prayers to the people in the area.

Update The 304th Rescue Squadron has joined the rescue efforts with boats aircraft and PJ Rescue personnel. Hooyah 304th Rescue! Jon and the rest of the team our thoughts and prayers go with you.

IBC Zodiac MILPRO Rescue Class

When tragedies such as catastrophic flooding occur agencies often see the shortcomings in their disaster programs I.E. a lack of good Zodiac inflatable boats for rescue. IBC has been on the scene since the early 70’s providing agencies such as the 125th STS with boats, knowledge and training to accomplish their varied missions and continues to do so today.

Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380 Airfloor

Many of our customers and friends are already on the scene and are working diligently to rescue the people and even their pets in this trying time. Agencies looking to equip their teams should call Adam our Zodiac MILPRO lead to get started.

Models such as;

Zodiac FC 470

Zodiac ERB

Zodiac Grand Raid

Zodiac MK5

all work in the conditions present in Houston.

To our friends who already there doing their part, IBC thanks you for the people of Houston. To our buddy Hutch and the rest of the 125th STS Hooyah! IBC is here if you need us! Update The 304th Rescue Squadron has joined the rescue efforts with boats aircraft and PJ Rescue personnel. Hooyah 304th Rescue! Jon and the rest of the team our thoughts and prayers go with you.

To contact IBC for your MILPRO needs call (503)235-2628 and ask for Adam.

 

Introducing New Zodiac MILPRO RIBs

Recently IBC was in attendance for the 2017 Zodiac MILPRO Vancouver Seminar in Vancouver BC. Twenty six countries were represented with military, law enforcement, and other government agencies on hand for some bleeding edge technology and demos.

The offerings Zodiac MILPRO and Hurricane brought are a far stretch from the boats you might have been exposed to in your military days. Vastly improved material science and finite element analysis coupled to ISO standards and CAD/CAM mean these are stronger, lighter, faster, better than anything that has come before.

In my day (Mike) gps, cell phones, radar, etc. weren’t around or weren’t deployable in the R.I.B. platform. We used old school techniques and tools for the jobs at hand on the many different missions we ran in the Navy. Whether it was loading demo, or doing salvage or dive ops we did it all with the inflatable boats. Sure we dreamed big and wished certain things were available then that are now. Electronics wise we are light years ahead, gps, ais, radar, radio and more are all available in marinized versions that could launch the space shuttle with just one of their ic chips. Big glorious multi-function flat panels and touch controls coupled to fly by wire screaming power makes intercepting or overtaking any vessel a snap.

Multi-mission decks mean gun mounts to sonar fish are but a few minutes work to switch between. Shock mitigation cabins and reconfigurable seating means one boat does more in even the toughest conditions. These boats are special operator dream fuel, they are law enforcement sugar plums, they are the very tip of the spear or the trident as it were. The new Zodiac MILPRO and Hurricane R.I.B.s  will save more lives and cost less to operate than any other technology on, in, under, or above the water period!

If running boats for fun or profit is your thing you won’t do better than the Zodiac MILPRO lineup. IBC has the configuration you need and at the right price for quick return of investment. There are as many options as stars it seems so just because you haven’t seen it anywhere doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Give Adam, IBC’s MILPRO specialist, Adam a call (503)235-2628 or shoot him an email adam@inflatableboats.com with your inquiry.

All pictures taken by Adam, faces blurred by necessity.

IBC Takes Out KATU Channel 2 For A Ride

The suns first rays were coming over the hill this morning as IBC’s Mike was putting in his Bombard Commando C4R to meet KATU Channel 2 for a quick morning news segment. IBC has been a supporter of The Big Float and The Human Access Project and today was to get a spot done before the big event tomorrow.

Mike picked up KATU’s Wesleigh Ogle and her camera man along with The Big Float ringleader Willie Levenson at the Portland Fire dock for some quick maneuvers and some filming of the event lead up. As is usually the case Mike chose the Zodiac Bombard Commando C4R for it’s carrying capacity and it’s ability to handle whatever is thrown at it.

After maneuvering around some barge traffic Mike put the news team on their location and loitered as the cameras rolled. Passengers discussed the event and water safety (IBC is all about water safety) as the dialog shifted to the fun aspect. Portland’s “The Big Float” is a movement disguised as a huge party with band barges, vendors and giant slip and slides to bring awareness to the Willamette River and it’s safe to swim condition.

IBC owns the water ways in our area and takes them very seriously, especially when the topic is about having fun safely. IBC sells and services inflatable boats to recreational, military and professional users and offers advanced rescue training to qualifying agencies in a support role.

IBC is the nation’s oldest Zodiac dealer and inflatable boats is the core business. Our staff has many years on the water operating in all the World’s oceans in all conditions so we know a thing or two about inflatable boats. Whether it’s a dinghy or a a sport boat IBC has you covered with the right boat at the right price to ensure your enjoyment on the water for years to come.

Check out our online store to see and purchase your next inflatable boat and enjoy no sales tax in checkout. Questions? Give us a call (503)235-2628 and ask for Adam.

 

 

Zodiac MILPRO As Part Of Distributed Lethality

In the ever changing seascape of mission multi-tasking US Naval assets must be agile and intelligent in the face of sophisticated challenges to sea control. Today’s enemy represents a new breed of threat where cheap off the shelf drones, ROVs, and fast attack craft (FAC), pose serious threats to US Navy ships and personnel. These new surface threats mean that the old models no longer remain relevant. Electronic warfare is rapidly evolving to the point where swarm attacks can quickly overcome traditional shipboard systems that were developed for larger easy to detect targets,

Zodiac MILPRO RHIBs and inflatable boats are easily reconfigured for different theaters and mission profiles and can be carried by ships, helicopters, transport aircraft or even be deployed by submarines.

Over the last few years new language and tactics have been adopted to existing assets such as the inflatable boat for autonomous and swarm warfare. Distributed lethality and ad hoc networks bring together submarine, surface and air assets onto a 3 dimensional battle space where autonomous RIBs can carry out extended patrol, ASW (anti-submarine warfare), ASuW (anti-surface warfare). With Russian and Chinese Navies building up their assets and exerting challenges to sea control in areas where American sailors operate in the Global War On Terror it isn’t too much of a stretch to see new ideas are needed.

Small directed energy weapons can be fitted onto FAC and RIBs making the swarming drone attack defensible before damage is inflicted on ships, or harbors. Massive networking of RADAR and SONAR into the distributed system via placements on nigh unsinkable boats such as the Zodiac MILPRO RIB mean more ocean is covered with less personnel and less risk to larger slower ships. Over the horizon extended missions/patrols can relay critical intelligence in real time to task force assets and conduct immediate action missions against threats.

Manned missions are getting easier and SWCC/SOF units benefit from shock mitigation cabins and seating that keep operators safe and minimize combat fatigue leading to successes against unseen forces that mount suicide attacks in FAC (fast attack craft).

EOD teams tasked with clearing and maintaining safe shipping lanes benefit from Zodiac’s legacy of anti-mine platforms with low/no magnetic signature. With the rate of turnover in the current military most of our veterans who conducted missions in the now expanding littoral zones have been retired. The current breed of sailors lack the experience to conduct clandestine missions in hostile zones without tapping into the already taxed SOF community. The Zodiac MILPRO RIB or inflatable boat can be carried by even the smallest vessel which extends it’s reach deep inland, up rivers, and in harbors where shoals prohibit ships passage. Getting operators to and from the mission in the littoral zones must not be overlooked. Frogmen turned the tides of war during WW2, Korea, Vietnam, The War On Drugs, et al. and they did it with small fast inflatable boats.

Times are changing from the constant tension and danger of The Cold War to one of smaller faster lighter attacks with low tech IED drones and the new problems that have manifested as a result. The need for more small craft that accomplishes the multi-mission nature of sea power today must not be ignored.  Taking lessons learned from SOF and applying them to multimodal platforms like Zodiac MILPRO’s range extends and hardens the distributed lethality systems currently being developed.

 

 

To discuss your needs with a MILPRO specialist contact Adam at The Inflatable Boat Center (503) 235-2628 and see what our years of experience operating outside of the norm can bring to bear for your warfighters, first responders and enforcement units.

Let There Be Light (waiting for the Zodiac MK2 Heritage)

Sitting here waiting anxiously for my shipment of  two Zodiac MK2 Heritage Classics to arrive my mind began to wander to the upcoming total solar eclipse.

If you know me at all you know that a wondering mind is definitely par for the course, but you also know my mind wanders to things of merit. People often ask me what do they need on a boat and the usual suspects are a whistle, paddles etc. Of the ready items available people seem to always forget one crucial item, the flashlight. In a pinch a good flashlight will allow you to signal for help, see what you are doing in the dark, help with a MOB situation, or reach for your camera during a time of total solar eclipse!

A good flashlight will be focusable, water resistant, have a lanyard and clip, and if available a magnetic base. Every “Go Bag” should have one, there are multitudes available online and at check outs for impulse buys everywhere.

The one I often carry with me for tactical missions on the water is the NEBO Redline OC. This model ticks off the boxes for what I feel are minimums for any activity on the water or ashore. It clips to my PFD and has a lanyard so if I’m working over the side and it falls it’s still attached. Being able to focus the spot means swimming the bilges for that missing washer and nut I just dropped is a whole lot easier. The magnetic base makes it easy to deploy for a hasty work light giving me the use of both hands which any of us know is a plus when working aloft or below.

The NEBO Redline OC (Optimized Clarity) is impact resistant and mine has survived a fall from the top of the dry dock to the basin with nary a scratch and all for a cost that everyone can live with. If you are lacking in the flashlight department and need one for your “Go Bag”, everyday carry or your tool box you can pick one up here at the shop or by checking our website.

Don’t be left in the dark wondering, get a quality flashlight before you head out on the water and be spot on when the time arises.

 

LIGHT
• High-power 600 LUX LED

LIGHT MODES
• High: 600 LUX – 2 Hours / 92 Meters
• Strobe – 4.5 Hours / 92 Meters

DESIGN
• Anodized aircraft-grade aluminum; water and impact-resistant
• OC Technology
• Convex lens
• Tactical edge
• 6x adjustable beam
• Dual-direction belt/pocket clip
• Magnetic base

OPERATION
• Rear-positioned, glow-in-the-dark ON/OFF button with Soft Touch Technology

ACCESSORIES
• Lanyard included

BATTERIES
• Powered by 1 AA battery (included)

SPECS
• Length: 4.5”
• Diameter: 1” (Barrel)     1.25” (Head)
• 0.25 lbs.

U.S. PATENT
• D 659,869 S

Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380

The Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380 Airfloor  model provides the user with the ability to inflate and get underway in  3 minutes with a compressed air tank such as SCUBA or SCBA. Originally designed for rapid inflation for rescue, law enforcement and military operations the Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380 Airfloor has been increasingly used as a stand alone boat for recreation or a tender for sailboats and yachts.

Ease of use and a Zodiac MILPRO pedigree mean more and more of these inflatable boats are seeing use at high latitudes and  in the tropics for tenders and work boats. The ability to have a slat floor, a heavy duty aluminum floor or the rapid inflate airfloor mean this example meets the needs of the ever changing mission/use waterscape.

Ratings for up to a 25Hp propped outboard or a 30 Hp Durajet outboard, 6 persons or 1430Lbs. cargo mean this 12’6″ is a go anywhere and do anything boat.

Zodiac MILPRO’s design, construction, and materials are legendary and singular in the field of inflatable boats representing the standard all others aspire to be.
The Zodiac MILPRO ERB 380 is available at The Inflatable Boat Center (503)235-2628 or by clicking here.

 



Another Day at the Office

 As we navigated our way up the winding lush and rocky banked river, we found the optimum location to put newly taught skills to the test. With ten knots of current, the boulder lined channel provided a challenging swift water chute to practice personnel recovery tactics. Utilizing Zodiac MILPRO Emergency Response Boats (ERB), we had the perfect platform, which provided plenty of reserve buoyancy and maneuverability to execute our simulated victim in water pick up techniques.

Here at Inflatable Boat Center, we are privileged to be an authorized Elite Zodiac MILPRO dealer and service shop. To be authorized doesn’t just mean sign up and sell a boat; instead it requires a serious level of  commitment, interest and experience with the products.  All of our IBC staff members own and use Zodiac inflatable boats year round and have done so for many years, both recreationally, in the military, and professionally. In addition, we strive to learn everything we can about our prospective customers and retain contact with existing customers in order to supply them with the perfect product for their requirements.

The new Zodiac MILPRO craft of choice for first responders is the Zodiac ERB.

These models offer a choice of floor systems, both aluminum or inflatable, fast inflation systems, Zodiac special inter-communicating valves, over pressure relief valves, quality life lines, and the perfect hull design for shallow and swift water operation. For the Spokane Valley Fire Department, the ERB 380 (12’6”) proved to be the perfect combination of performance, capacity, and portability. Spokane Valley Fire Dept. chose to carry the boat to the water vs launching from the trailer to match conditions found in the field. Powered by a 30hp Rescue Pro PumpJet outboard, the boat had enough power to get 6 people up on plane, and moreover, propelled 3 operators easily through all the swift water conditions we encountered.

In addition to supplying the fire department with a new boat and engine package, IBC offered to host a genuine Zodiac Maritime Academy training class as this was their first Zodiac; the perfect boat doesn’t help without the proper skills to operate and maintain it. This educational program specifically covered basic boat operations and maneuvering, risk assessment, broaching and re-righting techniques, personnel recovery, swift water passage making, general maintenance and in-field repairs. It takes many years of training and experience to not only teach a class like this, but also cater to the specific needs of the customer. This is an example of why we here at IBC are often selected as the Zodiac supplier for many government agencies as well as recreational boaters; from young families getting into boating, to RV expeditions, to coastal and offshore tour boat companies, as well as world cruising sailors.

Anybody can drive a boat fast and in a straight line however, but steering a boat with a tiller handle outboard is very foreign to most people including seasoned boaters. It’s the tiller handle that provides instantaneous control and allows for nimble guidance of the vessel. This is mission critical in fast-moving water as a boat can get thrown around in a split second, therefore the ability to make rapid corrections to ensure a proper course becomes a necessity of the mission.

Through coordinated instruction and live on the water demonstration, lessons were quickly learned and actively practiced among all fire rescue team members. By the second day of our course of instruction, all trainees were efficient in operating their craft with the judgment required for making the call as to what side of the boat to perform a pick up on, as well as have their crew members organized and ready to accomplish a rescue. During our class’s de-briefing our new operators rated themselves as much more confident and prepared to use their new Zodiac ERB  for  their own missions.  There is always a sense of triumph at the end of our intense training evolutions knowing that we’ve played a small role of indirectly saving lives by teaching the skills we have spent many years developing.

Adam Fry is a lifelong Zodiac operator from Kauai, Hawaii that now lives in Portland Oregon. Adam is IBC’s lead MILPRO Specialist and is certified in repairs and operation of the full Zodiac MILPRO line. To speak with Adam about your agency’s needs call (503)235-2628

Zodiac MILPRO MK4 HD Alaskan Surf Or Bust!

Those of us who were on the oceans during the 80’s can remember exploring in Alaska, and surfing every break we found while sailing around the Arctic. Seeing new guys doing what we did some 30+ years ago gets the heart pumping and memories flowing again. Many of the early photographs of Mike (one of our salesmen) are of him in a Zodiac inflatable boat surrounded by ice or tundra in the background. Mike took a surfboard or two everywhere he went when he sailed from Hawaii or California during his many years at sea and hit all the spots others hadn’t made it to yet.

Flash forward to today’s modern age of cell phones, gps, and digital cameras and we see a whole new generation utilizing the same Zodiac MILPRO inflatable boats as Mike did back in the times of yore.

Today’s example is the Zodiac MILPRO MK4 HD, and for exploring around the arctic you can do no better. Because of the Zodiac MILPRO MK4 HD’s ability to be rolled up and stowed you can now take a heavy duty boat where ever the wind blows. Packed down into bags the Zodiac MILPRO MK4 HD isn’t much bigger than our shop dog Nora ,seen here relaxing in front of the Zodiac MILPRO MK4 HD. Fishing, hunting, cargo transportation, surfing, diving, shipyard, tending, you name it the Zodiac MILPRO MK4 HD does it all and with Futura Hull performance too!

Speaking of performance the Zodiac MILPRO MK4 HD can take twin long shaft 40hp outboards or you can run a Yamaha F70 (our favorite) and really scoot across the water. The Zodiac MILPRO MK4 HD’s size allows it to go up rivers and sloughs from the ocean with ease making that camp load out a snap and a one trip operation. Almost 2 tons of cargo for a capacity and incredible buoyancy that drafts in inches rather than feet means the Zodiac MILPRO MK4 HD goes and does where and what other boats can’t or won’t.

Call us at IBC (503)235-2628 to speak with one of our experienced staff members about your next adventure, we’d love to help!

CAPACITY

. maximum number of persons (ISO6185) : 12
. maximum payload including engine and fuels (ISO6185) : 1720 kg / 3792 lbs
. floorboard usable area : 3.585 m² / 38.57 sq ft
. buoyancy tube volume : 2500 l / 88 cu ft

DIMENSIONS

. overall length : 5.30 m / 17’ 5”
. inside length : 3.70 m / 12’ 2”
. overall width : 2.14 m / 7’
. inside width : 1.04 m / 3’ 5”
. weight empty : 150 kg / 331 lbs
. buoyancy tube diameter : 0.55 m / 1’10”
. folded dimensions : bag 1 5’1”x2’6”x1’5” – bag 2 4’5”x2’2”x0’10”

SAFETY / INFLATION

. number of airtight compartments on main buoyancy tube : 5
. intercommunicating, inflation valves : 4
. inflatable keel : 1
. lower tubes : 2
. design category (EC 94/25) : C

ENGINE POWER

. shaft length : L 20”
. recommended power : 45 kW / 60 HP
. maximum power : 60 kW / 80 HP
. maximum power with 2 engines : 2 x 30 kW / 2 x 40 HP
. maximum engine weight : 140 Kg / 308 lbs
. maximum weight with 2 engines : 2 x 95 Kg / 2 x209 lbs

STANDARD EQUIPMENT

FABRIC:
. buoyancy tubes : black , 1670 dtx, polyester, hypalon neoprene
. speed tubes : black , 940 dtx, polyamid, hypalon neoprene
. bottom : black , 940 dtx, polyamid, hypalon neoprene
. keel : black, 940 dtx, polyamid, hypalon neoprene
TRANSOM MARINE PLYWOOD:
. self-bailers : 4
. aluminium engine mounting plate : 1
. engine transom pad (marine plywood) : 1
. transom triangular deflector : 2
. transom bottom stainless steel protection shoe : 1
FLOORBOARD:
. anti-skid floorboard (anodised aluminum) : 4 parts
. bow floorboard marine plywood : 2
. stringers, wood profile : 2
. fixed bow thrust board : 1
VALVES:
. buoyancy tube intercommunication / inflation valves (delrin cap) : 4
. keel inflation valve (delrin): 1
. inflation valves on hoses to speed tubes (delrin): 2
REINFORCEMENTS:
. all around rubbing strake, flat profile, black: 1
. large transom ovoid reinforcement : 1670 dtx (PY)
. rubbing strake bow triangular profile : 1
. rubbing strake underneath lower tubes : 1 + 1

HANDLING

. lateral large lifting D rings (stainless steel with black coating) : 2
. bow lifting rings (stainless steel folding pad eyes on thrust board) : 2
. aft lifting rings (stainless steel U-bolts on transom) 2
. bow handle (plated brass) with black coating : 1
. exterior lifeline : all around
TOWING:
. aft towing rings, (stainless steel U bolts on transom) : 2
. bow large towing D-rings on tube (stainless steel with black coating) 2
OTHER EQUIPMENT:
. foot bellows + hose : 2
. repair kit with pressure indicator : 1
. paddles (aluminum shaft, plastic blade) with brackets : 2
. floorboard bag : 1
. boat bag : 1